Movie Diary 1/12/2009

The Bells (James Young, 1926). Lionel Barrymore is a small-town innkeeper who does something bad and is tormented by guilt. No actual connection to the Poe poem — this was based on a popular morality play — but Barrymore is very good and the picture has a dandy pre-stardom role for Boris Karloff. I will introduce a screening of this next Monday night: details here.

Notorious (George Tillman, Jr., 1009). The story of Biggie Smalls, who went to South America to marry a high-ranking Nazi spy. Sorry, but I didn’t get a chance to make a Hitchcock joke before everybody else did. (full review 1/16)

Chandni Chowk to China (Nikhil Advani, 2009). A Bollywood picture gets a good-sized push. It’s enjoyably ludicrous — you know, like Slumdog Millionaire. (full review 1/16)

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (Steve Carr, 2009). Kevin James in a Happy Madison production — but where’s the Rob Schneider cameo? (full review 1/16)